The National Elections Commission (NEC) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) has concluded a five-day professional development tr aining for media practitioners in the country.
A NEC release says the workshop was conducted under the Media and Elections Module of the Building Resources In Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) training framework.
It was intended to improve the skills, knowledge and confidence of the media in the electoral process as well as broaden journalists’ knowledge on elections reporting.
The roles and responsibilities of journalists to other electoral stakeholders and the provision of equal and equitable access to all electoral contestants were highlights of the training, which took place from August 8-12, 2016.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the workshop, NEC Commissioners Davidetta Brown Lansanah, Samuel Joe and Boakai Dukuly in separate remarks noted that the professional development training package for journalists was part of efforts by the Commission to continuously build the capacity of the media in its reportage on electoral processes in Liberia.
Press Union of Liberia President, Abdulai Dukuly, called on the NEC and other partners to extend the BRIDGE Media and Elections Training to other parts of the country in order to enhance the capacity of community radio journalists in various aspects of the electoral process.
In separate remarks, the Country Director of IFES and the Chief Technical Advisor of the UNDP Electoral Project, Parvinder Singh and George Baratashvili, said a strong and independent media
s important to elicit public trust and confidence in the electoral process in Liberia.
Messrs Singh and Baratashvili expressed commitment of their respective institutions to support future capacity building workshops for journalists across the country for the impending Voter Registration exercise, development of a Code of Conduct for Journalists for the 2017 Elections and other aspects of the electoral process.
Participants were awarded certificates at the close of the workshop. The 27 participants were drawn from print and electronic media institutions. They represented several community and national media institutions in the country.
Participants were also drawn from the European Union, IFES, NEC and INTERNEWS.
The workshop was funded by the European Union and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
BRIDGE is the most comprehensive professional development program available in elections administration developed by electoral administrators in many different countries and contexts.
The partners of BRIDGE are the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), IFES, UNDP and the Electoral Assistance Division of the United Nations (UNEAD). Press release